Christmas is days away and for a lot of people this is a time of sharing and caring. A frantic shift of locality to position ourselves in the midst of friends and family who, hopefully, we like and perhaps even dare to love.
We show our affection by the exchange of gifts. We tell of the highlights in our lives over the past year because, most times, these are the people we haven’t had a lot of contact with in the last year, and this reunion is perfect for filling in the gaps. And everyone has a really nice time. How am I doing so far? If you identify with any of this then you’re a lucky person who is supported and loved. And I am happy for you.
For some of us who lack sufficient support and love, Christmas Day becomes Critical Day. We don’t fit into the obvious groups that charities dote on. Nor do we need to be plucked from the gutters and fed turkey. We are the people who slide into society in the neatest possible way. We have jobs. We live harmoniously in neighbourhoods. We even have friends. But come Critical Day, we are alone. Our friends scarper to all points of the country and the more determined friends even leave the country to make sure they claim the festive season with blood relatives.
We refuse to intrude because we understand the relevance of this festivity. We humbly and respectfully decline any offers of inclusion by making vague reference to what our plans for the big day might be. We lie through our teeth, not with ill-intent, but with the most honourable reason. We have no other plan except to know that the people we like are caught up in a flurry of bonding.
So if you are subjected to Critical Day, please take a moment to acknowledge what a wonderful person you are. In your own quiet way, you have proved that Christmas is a time of giving. And it may not hurt so much if you get stuck into the brandy, just this one day.
– Mica Olsen